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My Art Therapy Journey

For my Ceramics 2 class this semester I intentionally signed up for the section taught by an instructor who focuses a lot on figurative sculpture.  I want to explore and express the immediacy of what is going on in my life, but I am scared of it.  Our first assignment has a completely open ending.  I guess just writing that and seeing “open ending” gives me a place to start from.   Yesterday, in class, I was feeling blocked.  After many days of feeling full of inspiration class finally started and I couldn’t move.

Terror.

The assignment is meant as a warm-up exercise and I was dead cold.

 

 

 

Instead of starting on my real assignment I spent some time learning to use the clay extruder.  I think it’s going to make my ceramics life a lot better.  It will help in saving my hands and wrists and might be a significant addition to my toolbox.

Discovering there was this extruder in the school studio the entire last semester of Ceramics 1, but never being informed of it or taught how to use it is a little perplexing, if not a bit irritating.  But…at the same time I’m glad I didn’t know about it.  I learned things the “hard” way.   I learned how to do everything through hard work and determination and it got me more intimate with my clay.

It feels like life is that way sometimes.  Doing things the hard way through blood, sweat and tears and then someone tells you about something that gives you the same result with, essentially, the flip of a switch.

I mean, seeing this extruder machine in the studio is an extremely concrete “in reality” sort of thing.  I can see that it’s a lot easier to make coils or forms using this machine than it is to roll out coils tediously by hand.  But what if someone tells me an easier way to do something I can’t see or touch?

I have to admit, I even looked at that extruder with skepticism.  I didn’t want to deal with the anxiety of learning how to use it and, at first, I viewed it as a sort of “cheat.”  After all, shouldn’t everything be extremely difficult in life?

This seems to be one of my switched wires in my brain.  Why do I go around thinking nothing is worthwhile unless it is painful and difficult?

What if I can go about putting my creative ideas into reality through simpler means and enjoy the entire process?  Is it then, somehow, not as good???

It’s a little crazy, really.

 

I need to get over this idea that enjoyment has to be counter-weighted by misery.

It’s just a LIE.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

The counter-weight of misery does NOT make joy any more safe.

 

And this brings me to the topic of Joy.

Joy is extremely risky, dangerous and downright chill-invoking without faith.

I might even believe that without faith there can be no joy at all.

 

This isn’t something I’ve thought about before writing this, but it just sort of dawned on me.

 

It’s all a part of letting-go and getting somewhere.

For me, it’s a part of getting unstuck.  That’s what if feels like.

 

There’s enough aggression and violence in the world without me needing to add to it through the creative process of my life.  Is it really needed?

 

What if I let the clay be soft and didn’t fight working with a clay that’s not workable yet?  What if I took the steps to help the clay work for me and not power through by sheer force that is only going to break me and not lead to the greatest creative outcome anyway?

 

It’s back to breathing.  Letting go, letting things be ok.

Accepting help.

Making a beautiful life willing to be made.

 

I have come to this acceptance the hard way and I wonder what miracles are ahead.

What other amazing machine I didn’t know about before hangs right in front of me on the walls of the studio awaiting discovery?

 

 

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There are times that I wish I could let myself fall apart more.  Somehow,  those are never the times when I actually am falling apart. I will stop myself from falling apart even if it means a permanent ending to everything.  The times I fall apart are like the short breaks between bricks.  The places where the grout lays.

Clearly, there is more brick than grout, but without the grout the bricks most likely  would topple over and never stand or do the job they are typically created to do….and I’m not getting into physics and the possibility of that.  I know there must be exceptions to needing grout out there somewhere.  But I’m talking about what I know.

I don’t actually know that much about construction and building materials either, but that also doesn’t really matter right now.

My point is that I need to fall apart, but I also need to stay together.  I have to be both the brick and the mortar.  (Oh yeah, I think mortar is what it’s called?  Grout is for stuff like ceramic tiles, right???  I don’t know.  But this is also not the point.)

 

I’m trying to understand myself.

 

I just know that sometime I lose it.  I fall apart and I fall apart Big.  But not often enough.  But falling apart just once is too much!

I feel so stuck.

 

Maybe I just need to take down the wall.  Maybe I don’t need more (or less) falling apart.

Maybe I just need no more walls.

 

Fear is the glue.  (Glue now, not grout or mortar.)

 

Fear is static and unmoving.  Fear causes crumbling.  Fear leads to crashing.

 

I know I’m speaking in weird metaphors that probably don’t even go together.  It”s hard to face where I am in this–because I don’t really know where I am.  And this is part of the whole issue.

 

Am I strong?  Am I weak?  Am I needy?  Am I too much?  Am I not enough?

 

I need help.  I can’t do this alone.  I can’t be the wall and decide about what to do with the wall at the same time.  There are too many directions at once.  Repair it?  Take it down?  Keep some, change some?

I don’t know what to do with me right now.

I’m vulnerable.

I’m used to being it all.  The brick, the mortar, the builder and the one who climbs on, around or over the wall when it’s all done.

The problem is…it’s never done.

It’s a lot of upkeep now and it complicates life rather than making it necessarily better.

But the prospect of subbing (sub-contracting) this out is end-of-the-world frightening.

It means trusting, at least a little bit, and not being entirely in control of where things go, at least for a little bit.  I can still sort of have a say about things, but, in a way…I have to step back.

I write this like I have a choice about doing this.

It’s really already happening without me.

The memories are breaking through my wall(s).  People morph in and out of the reality of who they really are.  It’s hard to keep track of past and present.

I’m rattled all the time.  I tremor.  My fine motor skills are already gone and I worry about it progressing to more major movements like even walking or standing.

So I write this like I have a choice about letting-go.

The death-grip I’ve had on my life isn’t working anymore.

 

 

 

 

I don’t need to read the Bible.

My whole life has led me God.

The Bible interests me for reasons other than knowing God or the idea of God.   Except for the fact that I see God in people…and people are what I find in the Bible.

I am drawn to the Bible for the purpose of study.  Nothing in the Bible has really led me to faith.  So far.

This is not to say that it can’t or won’t strengthen my faith in the future, and not to dismiss the Bible and its importance or significance in people’s lives.  But, given that, in all fairness I’ve barely read it, how can I not make these statements?

What does this have to do with my art therapy journey?  I don’t know.  It might have to do more with my journey, just in general.  But my language, inside, is art…even when what comes out is words in a blog that don’t look or sound the least bit artistic.   At this very moment, there is art forming inside of me.  These are my thoughts…and thoughts lead to actions.   At least, that’s what I’ve been told.  For me, at least some of that action in my life is creating art.

I guess I can’t tell you why I believe in a higher power, especially when an overwhelming majority of events in my life wouldn’t point to the God I believe in, existing.

I say all of this as I begin down a path of embarking on Bible Studies.   Along with my Art Studies.

Maybe I am putting this here as a plot point.  A dot on the map so when I start talking about something I’ve come upon 5 miles down the road it all connects better and makes more sense.

I’m fascinated by people and culture and history.  The only history class I’ve ever taken is Art History and it left me wanting for more.

Less, actually.  Actually, less.

It left me asking more questions and yearning for context.  It left me asking questions about how I came to be and how any of us came to be.

It left me with a plague of questions.  Most people don’t want the plague.

My intro. class answered nothing.

So I don’t know where I’m going with this.  I just know I’m going somewhere because this spot I’m in isn’t very homey.

I yearn for people and connection as long as they don’t get too close and let me come to them a bit on my own terms.  Any sudden moves scare me away.  And it’s like that with God, too.  And that could be why I’m so interested in all of this.  Figuring out what is psychological, sociological, anthropological and theological.

That is a lot of logic, if you ask me.

I never asked for this to be my brain.

And that’s why I have so many questions.

If I could change my passions I most definitely would.

Who in the world would choose this?

I think I would rather suffer in superficiality.  I want to be addicted to “Omg!” (the  yahoo “news” page) instead.

But that’s not the life I was granted.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

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December 13, 2012

There is a lot that could be said about this year.  A lot has happened, but it feels like I’m back in the same place where I started.  It’s just, I’m not too sure which “starting place” I’m speaking of.

Am I back where I was at this time last year?  I don’t think so!  I just can’t exactly remember where I even was at this time a year ago.  I’m pretty sure I was too disoriented to make it a memorable occasion.  I’m pretty sure things weren’t too great.   I started blogging shortly after that time.

It was a last-ditch effort.

So…

I guess sometimes last-ditch efforts are worth the effort.

I hope.

I’m always hoping to make my life worth the effort it takes from everyone involved in keeping me afloat.

Maybe afloat isn’t too great a descriptor.  It doesn’t really specify whether I am floating face up or down and in the case that I might just be staying afloat face down, my condition might not actually be so great.

Same with grounded.

Maybe I should just make it clear about my condition as I stand today and say my thank you’s to the world that I’m ALIVE.

I’m happy to be alive.  Even on the bad days (95% of myself agrees with me.)

The other 5% is just a tantrum within me speaking of worthlessness, and I know it’s not really true.

I’m really 100% (at least!) happy to be alive.  But I am always striving toward living my life better, purposefully.

I’d really rather never die.  Not even ever.

But I’m ok with it whenever it comes….I just hope it doesn’t for a long time.

Wow, this isn’t really going where I was trying to go.

Such is living life as me.

My life takes me places I never could have imagined or planned.

I do make choices, I know, but sometimes me staying alive requires a whole lot of me letting go and trusting things I’m doing, even when I have no idea what I’m doing.

Like now, writing.

Oh well.

I wanted to say some words.  But there will never be enough words, or efficient or sufficient enough ones.  I guess that’s why I like making things that don’t rely on words so much.

I probably should get back into poetry.  Where words are words but not words at all.

It seems to sum up where I am and where I have been this year, all that has happened on the private, personal and public level, there is just no way to do it.

No other way than to keep living since I am still here…Where I started.

Alive.

Making note of it because a lot can change so fast.

In my lifetime I have been told I am miserable.

I’ve heard it from more than one person.  I’ve heard it from people in my family…and I’ve heard it from people who have no way of knowing me, for instance, my daughter’s step-mother, because she has always refused to speak to me or acknowledge my existence…beyond, of course, assuming that I am miserable.

Whenever I have heard this I have always been speechless.  It always has hurt me is such an unreachable place I don’t even know what the feeling is that it brings up for me.  It’s so unexplainable and I’ve never been able to understand being informed of my misery, lol.

I still can’t really understand it.

But I’ve been dealing with a lot of things lately.  Coming back to life gradually, in bursts.  So I’m looking at my past and my history to what has brought me into being born all over again.  This privilege I get, that sometimes I have to work at accepting because of the pain it also brings with it.  It brings with it the reality of my life.

And so I run into the past.

I don’t run toward my past.  I run into my past.  (And that is a very big distinction.)

As I move forward, my past is there.  It greets me, and I can’t move beyond it without acknowledging that it is there.

And so I’ve been thinking about times  in the past I’ve been told or heard that I was miserable and the turmoil and confusion that has always caused to erupt from inside of me.  I could never figure out why I was hearing that because inside of me my heart was not miserable.  I didn’t feel miserable…but I eventually started believing that I was, indeed, miserable.

“You’re miserable.”

“You’re a miserable person.”

“You’re a miserable excuse for a person.”

I didn’t understand.

It did hurt though.

It hurt A LOT.

And I was alone for so many years and nobody ever told me otherwise.

I still couldn’t figure out why that must be what I was.

Because even though I probably should have been, I wasn’t.

However, I experienced my confusion about being miserable as…miserable!

Well, I’m happy (not miserable) to say that something has occurred to me over the past day or so.

I’ve realized that the people who have ever told me that I was miserable were possibly, themselves, miserable in some way.  However, I would never say this to another person.  I couldn’t imagine telling another person they are miserable, even if they were inflicting (or projecting) misery onto me.  I can’t even imagine ever saying it which gives me some sort of faith that misery is not what defines me.

It still hurts so much that people who were designed to love  me when I needed them most did not love me enough to be able to see past their own pain.

But I’ve been in therapy for the last couple of years with a therapist who treats me with dignity, and even though receiving respectful, compassionate care has been the most excruciatingly scary, I’m beginning to take some breaths of respect and compassion for myself.  It hurts, but this is the part about running into my past I’m talking about.  It takes me back to all those places where history got it wrong.  My life has been given grace to correct itself.

For all the times I could never reply, I am hitting “Reply All.”

“I am not miserable.  I am not a miserable person, and now that I love myself I have no excuse to believe that anymore.”

So to my brother and to my mother, I hope this finds you well.

And to my daughter’s step-mother, I would still sit down and have a cuppa with you anytime your heart will allow.

I’m my own person now.  I would love for you to get to know me.

 

I wrote about this sad egg last night.  Otherwise known as the bad egg (more images in my last post.)

I’m back to look at it again.  I slept on it.

It needed some incubation.

 

I dreamt about ceramics class.

I dreamt that I was in class with my current teacher’s wife, which while it sounds strange (yet, perhaps fitting for me if you’re familiar with my life) it’s not really too weird because my teacher’s wife is also a ceramics teacher at the school I attend.  In fact, I had attempted taking her class the semester I got pregnant with my  (now) toddler and quit (without officially withdrawing) because of pregnancy issues and I got an “F.”

An F.

That was an “F” to replace my “C” I had earned the semester 5 years earlier with her husband because I up and quit before final critique and the final written test in class after I was affected by one of my classmates committing suicide in the same class.

He was there one day, a nice, quiet guy…and then gone.  And I only knew he was gone because his dad came to class to pick up his stuff one day and then my teacher made a vague announcement about him not returning.  Ever.

You can take a class 3 times before the school cuts you off and won’t allow any more re-do’s.

So this is it.

My last chance at Ceramics 1.

 

I don’t remember all of my dream last night.

I basically remember being in trouble for something I did.  I think I might have missed a class and my teacher was irritated at me.  And I am really sensitive about irritating people.  I don’t like to do it, which is ironic since I probably do it a lot.  I’m probably irritating you now!

I remember a charcoal drawing of a pot, and I remember asking questions about it.  There were things I didn’t understand.  Stuff about orthogonal lines that confused me.  And I love basically everything about art, but when it comes to orthogonals I definitely tune out.

 

So I woke up thinking about what I labeled my bad egg.

I never give up on things.  It’s both what has kept me going and kept me from going, at times.

It’s my love/hate relationship with tenacity.

It’s my war.

It’s my life.

In some way, it’s me.

 

At one time I used the word as an online moniker.

 

I want this egg to succeed.  When it started out I didn’t really care that much about it.  I just wanted to complete this assignment and move on to one I was interested in.  But then, it evolved.

And I had feelings.

And people saw.

And I had questions.

It developed a purpose.

 

If you really want the truth, it’s not really my project at all.  It’s a kid inside me’s project.  I didn’t care much about this one, so I handed it over, I guess.

And so…

And so what?

 

And so, I don’t know.

 

So I’m going to ask more questions for this one, inside.

I’m not going to give up on helping things along.  It needs a little help.

She needs a little help.

Maybe a lot.

 

The long, hard night is over.

Today is another day.

I’ll sit on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a project I’ve been working on almost all semester.  I think it’s been through the kiln 5 times for different processes.  It’s experienced some experiments and some hardship.  The lid  has been cracked (and fixed) once (fell off my project shelf)  and it’s had a bit too heavy an application of copper oxide for my liking.  The egg no longer looks like it goes with it’s “nest” and the thing is starting to look overdone.  I’m not happy with it now, so I’m thinking of just throwing as many things as possible at it to see if I can miraculously bring it back to life.  I don’t know what else to do with it at this point.  It’s one of those projects that starts out with a lot of promise, but in the end is a big disappointment.   I kind of want to throw it at a wall.  It’s a “learning” piece, but I didn’t want it to be a learning piece.   I wanted it to do what I wanted it to do, and it’s not doing what I want it to.  I’m frustrated with it and starting to be embarrassed by it.  But I will keep throwing things at it until I just can’t take it anymore and throw it, itself.

There are only a handful of weeks left for this semester until all of our “wet work” has to be completed and the kiln is going at full tilt to get everyone’s projects fired for grades.  I have other projects I’m working on currently, and at least one project I’m pretty happy with that is complete with another cool one in the wings.  Then there’s the wheel thrown stuff that is somehow miraculously working out.   But this is the one I’m showcasing because it’s the one that’s been the most emotional, so far.  The most “unsuccessful.”   The most troubling.

This is the one that feels so totally out of control, and the one that at some points I have tried to control the most.  Because I’m looking for an outcome.  Because I had a finished picture in mind somewhere along the way.  And I am not happy because this is not it.  I have quit feeling enjoyment while I am working on it.  Will I be able to reclaim my joy with it?  Can it be redeemed?  Can it  survive?  Can it become good again?

I don’t know how darkness can be so invisible.

But sometimes it is precisely because of its invisibility that darkness becomes itself.

 

When I was a teenager I had a conversation with the darkness once.  I suppose I was a little headstrong, a little unruly.  The invisible darkness was the only real force I could rebel against.  I definitely wasn’t going to try to rebel against my mother or father.  In hindsight, that might have been the better path.  (Not that I hope my teenager ever sees that sentence!) But for me, it might have been quicker path into light.

 

Instead, I stepped, unknowingly, deeper into the pits of emptiness in my effort to be good enough for them…and for me.  Really, to be good at all, but mostly to be good-enough for anyone I though might love me if I performed well.  Perfectly.

 

My hand was asked in marriage at 16.   And I said yes to the man who was 15 years older than me.  And so did my parents.

I bought my own wedding dress with money I earned myself.  $300 at David’s Bridal.

I was a childcare worker.  I made $8 an hour (I later realized taxes weren’t taken out so when I reported my wages I was taxed more than I ever earned, but that’s another story,) which was a huge salary (hourly) increase from my $7.25 I made at the dry cleaners and I loved children.

Except for later I learned I didn’t really love myself…and neither did anyone else.  But not because they didn’t want to.  Because they just couldn’t.  I can’t entirely blame them.  So I can’t entirely blame myself for everything that happened either.

 

But about that conversation with darkness.  I remember it still.  I remember laying on my bed in my bedroom in the apartment I was living in with my mother.  It was after a fight.  I’m not sure if it was abuse.  I thought abuse only happened to children at the time, and I didn’t consider myself a child.  It was just a fight, and probably my fault.  I don’t remember the source of the fight that day.  I only remember the conversation I had after it while I laid in my room where I could never bring myself to sleep.  (I slept in the living room on the 2 cushion sofa every night with my neck propped curiously forward on the armrest.)   I remember my mom telling me I should sleep in my bed because I was breaking down the couch.  But I slept there for almost a year (the amount of time I lived there) anyway.  So maybe I did rebel some.

 

I keep getting away from the darkness.    Or do I?   (Sometimes the question has to be asked.)

The darkness and my conversation.  It was a little one-sided with me doing a lot of the talking, but the darkness doesn’t always talk in words.  The darkness isn’t always nearly as direct.  It likes to be more like a covering over everything so it becomes a mass so encompassing it can be hard to determine where it ends and begins, or to see it at all.

 

In this conversation, in my contempt, in my teenage righteousness and belief that I could surmount anything if given the time, I told the darkness, “You will never win.  You will never get me.  No matter what you do to me, I will never give you my soul.  You can beat me down, but you can’t have ME.  Never.  Never.  NEVER.  Over my dead body will you win.”

 

And so….I hadn’t learned yet….about the light…and about Life With Light.

I didn’t know what it was going to be about.

I didn’t know what was ahead of me.

I didn’t know all the…all the….things.

I didn’t know.

 

But as I look back on that “conversation” today, I sometimes feel like it was the first conversation where I was ever listened to and believed.  And I figured if  I believed the Light could see my heart that maybe the darkness could too, and it would be so clear that I was invincible.   I already could feel so little.

 

But I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.

 

And so this head-strong, heart-strong girl spent a lot of time learning a lot of different things about what can be seen and what can’t.

And about how remarkably presumptuous I was.

 

I worked to make the right decisions.  I always wanted to do the right things.

But what do you do when doing all the “right” things turns out to be wrong?

 

What do you do?

 

Sometimes you lose faith.  But that comes much later, after you realize maybe you made the wrong decisions about which (or whose) faith to follow.

 

Oh so many things.  So many, many, many many many horrendous things.

 

But the horror tonight should be about Halloween parties.  Because that is where horror belongs.

And I am starting to put all the horror and darkness that has existed, that has practically been my life up to this point, where it belongs.

 

Off of me.

 

So tonight there is no covering over who I really am.  This is me.

Sometimes it’s scary.  Especially for me when I look into that magic ball and see where I have been.

I look toward  and forward to the future, but I don’t look to know about it all ahead of time.  After all, time does not like to be raced.

I didn’t know before, and even with all that I didn’t know about and the perilous journey I was on (but didn’t know I was on, at the time) I still work on just being present where I am in this day, in this moment.  It is the only place I can be me.  Right here with myself is the only place I can be good enough.

 

I was thinking about this tonight after me and my husband’s first couples session (for the 2nd time)  (and this is my second marriage) with a new couple’s therapist.  I was, more specifically, thinking about this after we returned home from our session and after the “fight”  we had later.

 

I’m calling this phase of the journey, Operation Light.  I googled it and it doesn’t exist yet 😉  Of course, now it does.  So you can join this Operation of Light with me! 🙂

Life With Light: “Operation Light” ….I can see it in….lights, now. 😉

That proposes that it will work.

Operation Light is about infusing Light where ever darkness is even remotely suspected.  There’s no danger is suspecting darkness to be everywhere.  It is not possible to overdose on Light.

It will work….I’m talking to the Light about it right now.

 

I have had a little shift in my approach toward life.  I am learning to address the Light.  The darkness is not worth my time, and definitely not worth me.  And it’s not worth you either.  I just love people, and I can’t help it.  I was well-meaning when I tried to fight against the darkness rather than focus on fighting FOR the Light….I was young and perhaps a bit ostentatious.

 

But the Light has helped me see that…ever so gently, of course.  That’s the way of the Light.  Because the Light actually did know what was inside me and behind my efforts.

 

So when it seems dark and insurmountable, don’t give up.

Don’t ever, ever give up.  ” Operation Light” Lovers never give up unless they are giving it up to the Light. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selflessness of Dreams

(the unedited and unproofread version…proceed with caution and coffee if you’re the slightest bit tired and still interested)

It’s not that nothing has been going on.  In fact, most people could probably attest that when they are most quiet is when quite a lot is actually “going in.”

…But how to define “going on?”

 

What is it I have been so busy with?

I could probably come up with a physical list only a few items deep:  Being a family woman, a mother, a student….but then there’s something missing.

Something actually just a bit bigger than all of those labels, actually.

I have to admit I have mostly been busy being me.  That’s right.  Just me.

I know I fill those roles and they matter a ton to me, though I couldn’t individually weigh them.

But really, I feel like the biggest, most expansive, consuming thing that’s been going on lately is just me…living.  Me living includes being married and those responsibilities, as well as being a mother and all those personal investments, but there’s been even more.

Life right now is filled with being created.  I create along the way, I step back, I let things happen to me.  I let this other force I feel in my life actually touch me.  What I feel touching me is somewhat undefined, but there is no question of its presence.  I’m being made into something/someone new…at least different.  At the same time I feel myself returning to who I always was…who I was before my time ever even began.

This sounds mystical.  A little off?

It sounds, even to me, like I could be having some kind of psychosis or delusions…..

But I’m pretty sure that if that is what I am experiencing then life exists squarely in the mix of it and that I am not alone in it either.  The fact that you, too, are here verifies that you are in this with me also, does it not?  Sorry, no exemptions.  You’re here or you’re not.  Are you here?  That can be a challenging question at time…I know for myself.

But then, life is not always so clear-cut.  Sometimes it is possible to be two places at once.  I know this, also as fact, for myself.

 

Everything has been in a wild sort of shift.  Motherhood, my student body, and wifedom.  My three most prominent schedulers right now.

But then, there’s that other player…Me.  And while “Me” is made up of those other things,  ”Me” is defined as one with spirit….

And so I have grappled with my spirituality.

Spirituality, which for me, is so closely tied to every cell within me.  And every cell, which is so closely tied to memory.  And memory to history…and history to, well….everything that has ever existed, seen or unseen.

 

Wow, I’m not proofreading and editing as I go so this could be a long, wandering ramble.

Probably the more people get to know me, the more strange I seem.  Or maybe I’m just flattering myself with that thought.  Suppressed egotism.  It’s got to be in there somewhere.

Besides, I’m just talking about all of this nonsense because I’m deathly afraid of sharing my real feelings.

 

Like the pains and the loneliness.  The everyday defeats and how even triumphs sometimes pang me.

This is part of “Me” and all the busyness, I know…but I’d rather come off as completely crazy than talk about these potentially understandable feelings.

 

Lately, I’ve been more present in my life, though it wouldn’t seem like it probably in this “letter.”

Some days I handle it better than others.

Today is kind of a rough one.

But I’m here, so this could, perhaps, be counted as a panged triumph, for an example of that pang I just spoke of.

 

Last night, which I suspect was actually very early this morning, I had a most odd of oddly dreams.  (But then, everything has been a bit odd seeming lately.)

It’s definitely one of those dreams to write to your therapist about (which I may well do, for good measure.)

I was in this house, and it was supposedly a house I knew somehow, but I’m not actually sure of the details.  But anyway, I was in this house of sorts and it was like at some point I was in this house with other people and we were all being led on a house tour.  And we got to this part of the tour and there was this passageway and it was so very, very, extremely narrow and all that could be seen was dark inside of it.  There was no way of telling what was in this passageway.  But to get through the tour and to eventually exit the house you had to go through this tunnel.   I saw someone else go up the tunnel.  They just walked up the steps and continued up through the covered passage (step were going up like a ladder) and disappeared.  No sounds or noise.  No commotion or cries for help.  They simply disappeared as if they had never been there.  And the guide for this tour was leading me to this spot and I neared it and felt my hands around the opening and I stopped there, not going further.  People were behind me talking amongst themselves, seemingly unconcerned about this passage.  (It had a very Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland /Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel to the atmosphere…dark, strange, otherworldly) And the leader finally addressed me and said for me to go through this passage and I voiced my concern that the passageway was too small and tight for me and that I would get stuck (um….yeah, I am an artist, but NOT a fiction writer…I swear I am not making this up!)   He said it would be fine and to just go.

***This ends my account of my dream***

Except, I think I went into the passageway and I don’t really remember the rest.

Cliffhanger?

I’m not sure, but I’m a bit uneasy about sleep tonight, as if I am ever really easy about it!

 

I want comfort.  I want something or someone to come hold me and assure me that it really isok and that it really IS going to be alright, and I really am not too fat.  Because I’ve been dealing with extreme body feelings along with everything else too.

But right now it seems there is no comfort.  There’s just this narrow passageway I have to go into alone.  It seems like a place to experience every fear I have ever had.  Alone.

And maybe that is the biggest fear of all…Abandonment? Death?

For sure the feeling of Loneliness has been consciously tantamount.  So why would I need a dream about it??!

Maybe this is about something else entirely different, after-all.

I just wish I could figure it out so I could move on to a different dream….

Better dreams….

And on the subject of dreams….Being a dreamer can be lonely…and now maybe I understand that just a little bit better/deeper/differently.

 

One of the first papers I ever wrote in college for Composition I nearly 12 years ago (I was something like 21 years old) was titled “Dream’s Reality” covering Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams.  What can I say, Ambition is not just a fad for me.

 

All these years later and I’m still not a professional therapist.  I went the professional client route, I’m selfless.

This evening me and my husband had a luscious conversation about our spirituality and beliefs about life, religion and the journey of it all.  I am using the term “our spirituality,” but actually we each are quite different on our individual paths.  It’s a bit crazy that we actually even ended up married because we see things so differently, but then there are times when we meet in the middle.  We met in the middle enough to have a baby together and start a family anyway.

A lot of spiritual stuff has been on my mind, but that’s because my whole life has kind of been a strongly spiritual kind of journey, even though I didn’t necessarily pick it to be.  It kind of just happened…like being born.

I don’t know what to say about it because there’s so much to say about it.  And I’m a little scared to say some of the things I think because I don’t want my thoughts to be misconstrued as propaganda.  As if the world needs more propaganda these days.  (I think that and I don’t even practice watching the news.)

But if I remember right, I think our conversation got started because I was talking to my husband about motherhood.  Specifically, motherhood and the expectations on mothers in our society (we’re in Midwest USA), and even more specifically (or possibly more broadly) the “Christian ideal picture” of motherhood.

I’m not sure I belong in the midwest, and at this time I don’t identify with any organized religion.  Just saying, because I do have a lot of thoughts about both of these things.    I also don’t not (and I do mean that, this is not just bad grammar)  identify as a Christian.  It could be a confusing thing to try to categorize where I am.  It is for myself, sometimes.  And I guess I should also preemptively say I’m not looking for me and my family to be “saved”  and that doesn’t mean I want us to go to any literal or figurative hell.  It just means that I have faith in the journey so please let me be on it.  If I’m meant to find your cabin in the woods, I will.

I’m just sharing.  Pretend you have found my journal at the base of a tree, perhaps, with clear signs I will be returning.  For example, chocolate and coffee are nearby.  And pretend there is a little message beside my journal that says…”Read this if you want…at your own risk.”  But the risk part is not a threat.  It’s just the understanding between us that I actually have no idea where I’m going with all of this talk at the moment.

A little insider info about me…because I’m being just so private here, I know:

I wear a (small, and not clearly recognizable from a distance) cross around my neck.  Right next to (or on opposites sides of it, depending on how the charms lay on any particular day) are the words “grace” and “patience.”  This is where I am.  This is the most definitive place for myself I have come to on my spiritual journey, recently.

I would tell you what pieces on my necklace symbolize or refer to exactly, but I’m not sure exactly.  It’s just part of me right now, and I accept that.  I’m generally an open and accepting sort of person.

But anyway, back to the motherhood thing.  The motherhood thing.  It’s such a “thing” isn’t it?  It’s like one of the things you’re warned to not talk about with anyone else, lest you need to defend your life.  Everyone knows not to raise the subject of Politics, Religion and above all…Motherhood in uncertain company.

But I’ll just say it.

I don’t vote (usually.)   I’d probably be considered Agnostic (if forced into a box,) and I’m on the fence about my place in the world (particularly what my role as a mother should look like.)

I’m not sure how I turned out to be such an opinionated person, but I might see myself as opinionated just because I have many thoughts about a lot of different, and sometimes potentially volatile, subjects.

I’m just not imposingly opinionated.

***

After looking into it, since I am writing about this here, after-all….I’m actually probably a Gnostic Christian,not really A-gnostic.  Which just opened up some trail for me, as I speak.   (I have a sneaking feeling I knew this about myself once before, but got lost in trying to fit into a cabin that didn’t have space for me, or something, because the term “gnostic” is suspiciously familiar to me.)

***

Have you ever known or seen a chain smoker?  Perhaps you are one yourself, even.  Well, then you would understand me right now.  I am a chain gum-chewer and I’m at the end of my pack so I’m really trying to get somewhere with this post quick, because even the a-b-c gum is soon to be out of date for usefulness  if I don’t somehow get to it.

Oh that’s right!  I was getting to something!

I don’t remember it now.

I think I’m scared to let it out now, and I actually want to research gnostic Christianity for the rest of the night instead! Ha.

***

So I was saying about this luscious conversation with my husband-no fighting, no yelling, crying or hurt feelings, nobody being left stranded on the side of the road or running out the door before remembering to to get fully dressed to save themselves from the other.  A true gem of a discourse is what we had.

But I’m procrastinating here, now.

Maybe I’m not ready to speak about this publicly.  But I want to.  Because it’s a big deal, but that’s also why maybe I’m not ready yet.

Ah, I’ll get there.  But it might be 3am. before I do….and it’s only 9:20pm here.

Ugh, I guess I better save my energy for what I feel coming on…..

Sorry about tricking you into reading the preface…(I really didn’t mean to!)